How to recruit more volunteers (and keep them!)

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Volunteers are the lifeblood of many charity shops across the country. They’re a great way to get fresh, excited individuals into the sector and are crucial for raising much-needed funds for your cause.


But during the pandemic, the number of charity shop volunteers fell by 45,000. And 35% of organisations say they have seen a decrease in their numbers over the past year. But as the world slowly returns to normal, it’s essential for charity shops to get them back on board. Here’s how to recruit more volunteers – and keep them.


Use social media


Generation Z is more likely to have volunteered than other age groups, according to a study by The British Heart Foundation. It also showed 53% of the respondents would be interested in future opportunities. And as Gen Z makes up 75% of Instagram’s users26% of TikTok’s users, and nearly 60% of Snapchat’s users, these platforms are the perfect place to advertise.


As well as promoting your vacancies, you can post content that may appeal to those considering volunteering. Show how they can help your shop, how their work benefits those in need, and how amazing being a volunteer is. But social media alone won’t cut it… 


Advertise offline


70% of people in the age bracket 65-75 volunteered in 2019/2020, a number that dropped in 2020/2021, likely due to the pandemic. 59% of people in the same age range are on social media. While that’s over half, there are still many without a social media presence, meaning they’ll miss any opportunities posted online.


Offline advertisements are essential to let as many people know about your open positions as possible. Flyers, leaflets, and newspaper ads are just some examples of how you can still reach those audiences. 


The importance of your EPoS system


Once you’ve found volunteers, the question is how do you keep them? 48% of charities believe their staff are missing core digital skills and competency. And 47% said their organisation lacks confidence with digital, according to The Charity Digital Skills Report. With this in mind, it’s crucial that any tech used in your charity shop is easy to use and volunteer-friendly.


As your EPoS is vital to your operation and used by all staff, it must be instinctual to avoid error, make training new volunteers easy, and create a more enjoyable experience. 


Many charity shops rely on these vital people to achieve their mission. But as the number has dropped, it’s important to consider where people are most likely to hear about your opportunities. To recruit more volunteers and keep them on board, it’s essential your EPoS is easy to navigate so they can succeed.


We understand volunteers are vital to your operation. We kept this in mind when creating CHARiot Web, an EPoS system that’s simple to use. If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to book a demo, get in touch on 01204 706 000.